Monday, January 08, 2007

Left behind?, or a false reassertion of the true faith?

John Yates and Os Guinness in a Sunday op-ed in the Washington Post:
The core issue for us is theological: the intellectual integrity of faith in the modern world. It is thus a matter of faithfulness to the lordship of Jesus, whom we worship and follow. The American Episcopal Church no longer believes the historic, orthodox Christian faith common to all believers. Some leaders expressly deny the central articles of the faith -- saying that traditional theism is "dead," the incarnation is "nonsense," the resurrection of Jesus is a fiction, the understanding of the cross is "a barbarous idea," the Bible is "pure propaganda" and so on. Others simply say the creed as poetry or with their fingers crossed.

It would be easy to parody the "Alice in Wonderland" surrealism of Episcopal leaders openly denying what their faith once believed, celebrating what Christians have gone to the stake to resist -- and still staying on as leaders. But this is a serious matter.
You can read the whole thing for yourself, for what it's worth.

Interesting are the comments on the Yates-Guinness op-ed being made over at the daily episcopalian.

UPDATE: For me, The Rev. David Simmons nails it in his critique of Yates-Guinness. An extract:
Who are these revisionists?

As I read articles from the "Extreme Right" in the church these days, I often struck by the dichotomy between what they say the Episcopal Church is like, and the Episcopal Church as I have experienced it. The claim usually runs that the Episcopal Church has abandoned all of the underpinnings of orthodox Christianity, including belief in the Bible as the Word of God, beliefs in the doctrines of the Trinity, Resurrection, Salvation through Jesus, etc. Quite often (as in American Anglican Council videos) the specter of James Pike is brought up as somebody who started the "slide" and then usually John Shelby Spong is cited as one who continues it.

My confusion is that I didn't know who James Pike was until I started to study the history of Episcopal splinter groups (a couple of years after seminary) and no one I personally know of in the church thinks of JS Spong as a central theologian.
It is so easy to be sure of your position when you beat up on a strawman of your own creation. Of course, all parties can be guily of this - especially as we slip into lawsuits.

Link to Simmons via the daily episcopalian.

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